People often underestimate the importance of routine oil changes. Because your car's engine endures the most wear and tear when you start it, short and frequent trips can begin to take a toll on the engine's functioning. However, more routine oil changes can protect critical engine components and minimize the overall damage done.
In this article, we'll answer all your pressing oil change questions, from "When do I need to get my car's oil changed?" to "Does AAA change oil?" Keep reading to find out how you can find a AAA oil change near you and preserve your car's engine through regular oil changes.
Read the full article or jump to a specific section:
- When to Get Your Car's Oil Changed
- Make Informed Decisions When Getting Your Car's Oil Changed
- Oil Changes at AAA-Approved Auto Repair Facilities
- Benefits of Going to a AAA-Approved Auto Repair Facility
- Get Your Car's Oil Changed at a AAA-Approved Auto Repair Facility
When to Get Your Car's Oil Changed
How regularly you need to get your car's oil changed will depend on its age and how often you drive it. For most newer cars, a built-in oil-life monitoring system will automatically determine when the vehicle needs an oil change and notify you on the instrument panel. Earlier monitoring systems depended on time and mileage, but the more advanced current designs analyze the actual vehicle operating conditions, which means they can identify exactly when the oil will begin to degrade.
Regardless of whether your car's maintenance reminder notification has come on, most automakers recommend an oil change every 12 months. Because newer engines need less frequent oil changes, it's essential to check your oil level monthly and top it up as necessary to avoid engine wear or other more costly repairs.
On the other hand, oil change intervals for older cars are typically mileage-based. There are two main maintenance schedules for older cars — one for vehicles driven in "normal" operations, and another for those that fall under "severe service." A car qualifies for "severe service" if you use it in one or more of the following conditions:
- A sweltering, freezing or dusty climate
- Sustained stop-and-go driving
- Primarily short trips of five miles or less
- Heavy load transportation or trailer towing
Vehicles that fit within the definition of severe service need maintenance according to the more rigorous schedule listed in the owner's manual. Cars driven under normal conditions can go a bit longer without an oil change because they won't benefit as much from frequent oil change services.
Make Informed Decisions When Getting Your Car's Oil Changed
When taking your car in for an oil change, you must have all the information you need to make a smart oil choice. The quality of engine oil used in your car will affect everything from fuel consumption to engine wear and tear. If you want your vehicle to function at its best, make sure you request synthetic oil instead of conventional oil.
Research has found that synthetic oil outperforms conventional oil by approximately 50%, which means synthetic oil can provide cars significantly better engine protection for only $5 extra each month within a factory-recommended oil change schedule. Because oil protects essential engine components from damage, using synthetic oils instead of conventional oil can help your car's engine better resist deterioration.
The high quality of synthetic oil means that the extra money spent on getting synthetic oil will ultimately save you money in the long run by protecting your car's engine from preventable damages. Though most vehicles do not specifically require synthetic oil, any car owner can take advantage of its superior engine protection. Synthetic oil's protective properties are especially beneficial for vehicles that operate in extreme conditions.
Oil Changes at AAA-Approved Auto Repair Facilities
If you're a AAA member, you can locate the AAA-Approved Auto Repair Facility nearest you to find the best place to get an oil change. Knowing which auto repair shop to choose for top-quality service can be confusing and frustrating. That's why AAA has done all the hard work for our valued members and compiled a list of reliable, trustworthy local auto repair facilities near you.
To achieve AAA-Approved status, an auto repair facility must provide exceptional auto solutions with excellent customer service at a fair price. You can have confidence that your vehicle is receiving the best care from a qualified technician who will provide you with a detailed, written estimate of all the work they will perform.
Benefits of Going to a AAA-Approved Auto Repair Facility
Are there more perks to going to a AAA-Approved Auto Repair Facility than a top-quality oil change? Yes! AAA has carefully evaluated various mechanics who can take care of our members and their vehicles with the same level and dedication you've come to expect from us. If an auto repair facility receives the stamp of approval from AAA, you can have confidence that you're taking your car to a well-qualified auto repair shop.
At a AAA-Approved Auto Repair Facility, AAA members can enjoy these benefits.
- Fair pricing: AAA members will receive an easy-to-understand, written estimate of all work, with a guarantee that the final bill will not exceed 10% more than the estimated amount without prior customer approval.
- Quality work: Any work done will come with a 24/24 warranty, meaning the repairs will last 24 months or 24,000 miles.
- Priority service: Owners of towed vehicles will receive their initial diagnosis or cost estimate within an hour of their arrival.
- Discounted pricing: AAA members will get at least 10% off labor costs.
- Free maintenance inspection: Any paid service will include a free maintenance inspection in the cost.
- An advocate on your behalf: If any dispute arises with the repair facility, AAA will step in and mediate on your behalf to resolve the issue.
Get Your Car's Oil Changed at a AAA-Approved Auto Repair Facility
Because keeping up with changing your car's oil as needed can add years to its engine's life, be sure to have its oil changed regularly and only with synthetic oil, which will provide added protection against deterioration. Next time your car needs an oil change, head to a AAA-Approved Auto Repair Facility for a high-quality synthetic oil change.
To get the most out of your oil change, locate the AAA-Approved Auto Repair Facility nearest you to take advantage of all your AAA member benefits today.